The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Food Allergy & Intolerance

 Many of the patients we see either have an allergy or an intolerance to at least one, if not multiple foods. This page will identify the most common food allergens, along with some general information on management to help you along the way.

Common Food Allergens:

Almost any food can cause an allergic reaction, but there are certain foods that are much more common than others.

In Europe, food allergens are monitored and assessed by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). The current EU regulation is that the following fourteen food allergens must be listed on all food packaging, if present in the food. Below is a list of the fourteen food allergens - some of the items on this list contain links to some information about the allergies. For any information about foods for which there isn't a link, please see the factsheets on the Allergy UK website.

  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs, lobster, crayfish)
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans (soya, soy)
  • Milk
  • Nuts (including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, Macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnuts)
  • Celery & celeriac
  • Mustard
  • Sesame
  • Sulphur dioxide (sometimes used as a preservative in dried fruit)
  • Lupin
  • Molluscs (such as oysters, mussels, clams, whelks and squid)

Types of food allergy:

Food allergy falls into two different categories; IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated allergies.

IgE Mediated Food Allergy

This is the most common type of food allergy, and is triggered by the immune system creating antibodies called immunoglobulin-E, or IgE. Symptoms often occur within minutes, although can take 1-2 hours to appear. There is a greater risk of an anaphylactic reaction in this type of response.

Non IgE Mediated Food Allergy

These types of food allergies are not triggered by the immune system, but by other cells. These types of allergic reaction often take several hours to appear, and symptoms tend to be gut (stomach cramps, loose stools, colic) or eczema symptoms.

If you think your child is suffering from, or has suffered from one, or both, of these types of allergic reactions, they may benefit from being reviewed in our allergy clinic.